Marin County – Landlord Partnership Program
The Housing Choice Voucher Program, or Section 8, is a huge investment of federal funds into the County of Marin. There were people in Marin holding vouchers who could not use them.They were hearing that landlords were hesitant to take vouchers due to a perception that voucher holders were bad tenants and would damage units. The Marin Housing Authority knew that the clear majority of voucher holders were good, hard working, tenants. The Landlord Partnership was established to incentivize landlords to accept vouchers. The result is that they overcame the negative perceptions about voucher holders, and new landlords began accepting vouchers.
The incentives for landlords to accept housing choice vouchers are: Up to $2,500 for a security deposit; loss mitigation up to $3,500; up to one month of rent to a property owner while repairing excessive damage; waiver of building permit fees; and a 24-hour hotline for landlords to call with immediate issues.
The Landlord Partnership Program is exceeding the initial goals of the Partnership. Sixteen months in, the program has 71 new landlords accepting Section 8 vouchers. Additionally, significant goodwill has been built with the landlords.
The County of Marin entered into a contract in 2016 with the Marin Housing Authority, in the amount of $404,000 to fund the program. Federal funds can be tapped to offer property owners renting more than half of their units to holders of vouchers interest free loans of up to $25,000 for rehabilitation or repair of their units. Marin Housing Authority set up and is administering the Partnership.